Holiday Events at the Beach ~ The Southern Scoop’s Area Highlights

October has come and gone in the blink of an eye, which means the holidays will be here before we know it! With Thanksgiving in November and Christmas in December, we’re feeling pretty festive over here at the beach! We don’t doubt you’ll be spending all of your time in your beachfront vacation home or condo, but you would be remiss if you didn’t explore the area! Fortunately, you’ll find a multitude of events happening across all of our areas for the holidays. Check out some of our favorite holiday events at the beach, and don’t forget to book your spot on the sand afterward!

11th Annual Gulf Shores Oyster Cook-Off & Craft Beer Weekend

For those who love oysters and craft beer, don’t miss the 11th Annual Gulf Shores Oyster Cook-Off & Craft Beer Weekend! Held November 2nd and 3rd, this is a fun way to spend a weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama. November 2nd will see the craft beer tasting along with musical entertainment. Then, on November 3rd, watch the Oyster Cook-Off with cooking demos and workshops during the day. There will also be an oyster shucking contest along with a Bloody Mary Invitational. Admission for the weekend is just $10 and free for children 12 and under. The North American Oyster Showcase Bar will host oysters from seven regions, including the Pacific Northwest, New England, the Maritimes, British Columbia, the Mid-Atlantic, Baja Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico.

2018 World Food Championships

November is certainly food month here on the Gulf Coast, but we aren’t complaining at all! The 2018 World Food Championships is one of Orange Beach, Alabama’s premier events, with over 1,500 chefs and home cooks battling it out for food, fame, and fortune. Taking place at The Wharf on November 7th-11th, enjoy four days of food and family-friendly fun. You’re sure to be inspired to try something new during Thanksgiving! Originating in 2012, the World Food Championships have produced over 30 TV food stars and awarded more than $1.5 million in prize money. During this event, you’ll be able to attend a Yacht Club Dinner Party, teen cookoff challenge, and the 2nd Annual World Food Games.

2019 Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival

Get the family together for one of the Gulf Coast’s top music events! Back for its 34th year, the Frank Brown International Songwriters’ Festival brings over 200 nationally acclaimed songwriters to Downtown Pensacola and Perdido Key, Florida, as well as Orange Beach and Gulf Shores, Alabama. This ten-day event runs from November 8-18, with music performed at more than two-dozen venues across these areas. Learn some of the stories behind your favorite songs directly from the minds of those who crafted them. Plus, those who have performed at the festival go on to become Grammy-award winning artists! You’ll want to say you saw them here first.

As an added bonus, we’re offering 20% off rentals in Perdido Key, Orange Beach, & Gulf Shores when you stay for the 2019 Frank Brown Songwriters’ Festival. How about a stay at Sandy Feet Retreat, one of our favorite vacation homes in Perdido Key? Boasting space for 16, a private pool, and a location right on the water we think this is a perfect choice! Book your Thanksgiving stay and a family vacation all in one!

Baytowne on Ice

If you’re in need of a little winter spirit during the holidays, then look no further than Baytowne on Ice! The Village of Baytowne Wharf in Destin, Florida transforms the outdoor rink into a magical ice skating extravaganza daily from October 27th to February 2nd, so you’ll have plenty of time to experience it for yourself. Even if you headed down south for some of our warmer weather, you can still strap on your ice skates and experience this seasonal favorite! During the month of December, bring an unopened toy for a toy drive and receive a 2-for-1 deal on a 90-minute ice skating session. Hours vary by day, so visit for more information.

Ice Skating Rink at The Wharf

For those staying in Orange Beach or Gulf Shores, Alabama, you don’t have to go far to experience a winter wonderland! The Wharf in Orange Beach hosts its own ice skating rink from November 17th to January 14th, just in time for the holidays! The rink is open Monday-Friday from 4-10 PM, and Saturday and Sunday from 10 AM – 10 PM. Admission to the rink is just $10, so strap on your ice skates and get ready to skate the day away! Stay at one of our onsite vacation condos at The Wharf for quick access to the winter fun.

31st Annual Holiday on the Harbor

Get into the holiday spirit with one of Destin’s favorite events! Watch the Destin Harbor light up with the annual boat parade, as boats cruise through the East Pass in their best Christmas decor. The event kicks off with a visit from Santa Claus from 12-4 PM at HarborWalk Village’s Main Stage. Then, enjoy a special performance of The Nutcracker, presented by the Ballet Conservatory & Destin School of Music and Dance. The parade begins at 6 PM, so you’ll have plenty of time to grab some hot chocolate and cozy up before the boats come by! The event rounds out with fireworks and a fire-spinning performance from Just Add Fire.

We hope you enjoyed learning about some holiday events on the beach. Meanwhile, our Gulf Coast Event Calendar is the perfect place to learn about fun events in Destin, Pensacola Beach, Gulf Shores, and more. We’ve got you covered from Panama City Beach, Florida, to Gulf Shores and Fort Morgan, Alabama. Thank you for being a part of the Southern family, and we’ll see you next month with another Southern Scoop!